Sadly, it isn’t typical to see condoms in mainstream television shows.
Strangely enough, when condoms are written into scripts, it is often in a comedic show or situation. As a sex positive person, I am always happy to see safer sex being brought up in pop culture, and if can make people laugh, all the better.
Not only is having a sense of humor about safer sex more conducive to acceptance of it, it also opens up the lines of communication regarding sex ed, because it portrays condoms not as being taboo, but as being a normal part of a responsible sex life.
Representing the safer sex community in mass media is really important, especially in abstinence only states where discussion of protection from unwanted pregnancies and STDs makes condoms a forbidden subject. It can also help in spurring a conversation with your kid(s) about sex. if you are watching a show and it is brought up in a lighthearted and funny way on screen, use this opportunity like a springboard into a sex talk.
The Five Best TV Sitcoms Involving Condoms:
5. Futurama ‘Bendarama’ (2011)
This sci-fi cartoon tackles sexual topics as far reaching as humans having sexual relations with robots, mythological creatures and aliens– condoms weren’t the subject of a joke until this episode. Amy, voiced by Lauren Tom, is perhaps the the most sex positive character on the show, takes note of the possessions that a banished “unattractive giant monster” who is over 50 feet tall buys, “Colossal tooth whitener, mega-deodorant, humongous acne cream, and… aw, one regular-sized condom.”
Hey, all I can say is this, “Way to prep up, unattractive alien dude! You never know, right?” Futurama is sending out the message to us that even if you are seemingly undesirable to others, why not keep a condom handy? It can’t hurt. And hey– why not poke fun about some of the stereotypes regarding penis size, while we are at it! If you or your partner uses average-sized condoms, like the LifeStyles Ultra Lubricated or the LifeStyles WYLD— there ain’t no shame in that game. Remember– if you or your partner is average sized, that means that 50% of men have smaller penises than you.
4. Seinfeld ‘The Sponge’ (1995)
This hilarious episode involves the discussion and quest for contraceptives when the beloved Today sponge goes off the market which forces George and Susan to wear a condom instead. Elaine refuses to give them a sponge with the justification that she has to ‘conserve the sponges’ and gains a new level of stringent requirements in order for a potential partner to become ‘sponge worthy.’
George, portrayed by Jason Alexander, is unable to open the condom ‘like a bag of chips’ before he loses his erection and therefore misses out on make-up sex after a fight with his fiance. It’s very refreshing to see a show about sexually active people in which contraceptives are openly discussed in a sex positive environment.
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia ‘The D.E.N.N.I.S. System’ (2009)
Based on ridiculous and ineffective Pick Up Artistry (PUA), this episode deals with creating a desirable illusion in order to get women’s attention and ultimately to get laid. The characters follow the D.E.N.N.I.S. system for picking up women during which Frank, played by Danny DeVito, “accidentally” dropping his ‘monster-sized’ Trojan Magnum condom in front a woman he is trying to win over.
I can only assume that he would have dropped the brand new Trojan Magnum XL, if it had been available at that time. Again, this scene is playing with the concept of penis size being related to height or stature, as the giant from Futurama and Danny DeVito from It’s Always Sunny both had a need for seemingly disproportionate condom sizes in relation to their bodies.
2. South Park ‘Proper Condom Use’ (2001)
After the the gang begins masturbating their dogs, without realizing what they doing, the elementary school decides to start a sex-ed program. Hilariously, all the teachers in the program are virgins, except for a graphic and hilariously inappropriate lesson from Mr. Garrison to his kindergarteners, which includes a slew of sexual positions. After hearing this false information, the boys believe they must wear a condom at all times while speaking to, or being in the presence of, women or else they will accidentally impregnate the female students.
In a similar vein, the girls at South Park Elementary all believe that boys will give them STDs, just by talking to them. This episode, while being very comical in nature, illustrates the importance of an accurate and thorough sex education for children, and the potential consequences of the abstinence only sex ed program in public schools.
1. Curb Your Enthusiasm ‘Wandering Bear’ (2004)
This knee slapping episode is ranked #1 on this list of the five best sitcom scenes involving condoms because of how realistic, yet humorous, this situation is. Larry David tries a climax control condom for the first time with his wife Cheryl, only he mistakenly puts it on inside out, with the desensitizing lubricant on the outside of the condom. Cheryl is very distressed when she gets a numb vagina so she attempts remedies to rectify the situation and restore feeling into her vagina by taking holistic advice from the Davids’ Native American gardener.
Not only have I experienced this for myself in real life, from a Trojan Extended Pleasure condom which has the same lubricant on the inside and outside of the condom– other women with the same complaint have called Condom Depot due to concerns. Really, the only benefit from a numb vag would be if you had a quickie and then went to get a now pain-free bikini wax. To avoid this scenario, I suggest using Durex’s climax control condoms instead, because they only have the numbing agent on the inside of the condom. Both the Durex Performax and the Performax Intense are great options for lasting longer while being safer. But beware. If you put it on inside out, like Larry David did, you’ll both be out of luck (unless you happen to have a shamanistic gardner, that is)!